Happiness Challenge Day 19

Why does everyone assume taking a bath is a relaxing event? I haven’t taken a bath since I was twelve. I just don’t see the allure of sitting in a pool of your own filth. You lie there for so long the water gets cold. You get all pruney. My bathtub is not big enough to cover both my knees and my boobs at the same time. And there’s nowhere for my neck to be. So relaxing in the tub how to be a literal pain in the neck.

Before I put my body in that tub, I would need to bleach it. Heavily. That’s not to say I don’t clean my bathtub. I do. But I would want it significantly cleaner before I put my body in it as opposed to me just getting a shower. I bought one of those spin brush things that helps you clean your tub. I love that thing. It’s got attachments for the walls, faucet, corners. I love that little spin brush thing.

You might be an adult if you get really excited about cleaning things. You might be an adultier adult if your excited by things that clean other things. I’ve reached that age where I can now understand why people on The Price is Right were so excited to get things like a washer and dryer or a fridge.

Before I would want to get into the tub for this relaxing bath, I would have to clean my bathtub first. And because I couldn’t just clean the tub, I would have to clean the entire bathroom. We have one bathroom that works. I have two teenage girls, a husband with a beard, and a five year old son. My bathroom is in a constant state of “What is that hell is that smell?” It’s not unusual for us to have the sink or the bathtub not draining properly. I pulled Cousin It’s stunt double from the drain last week. There’s a bucket of dinosaurs from my son that usually gets knocked over from my daughters just dropping their clothes on the floor or slinging theit wet towels around. The bathroom trash tends to get forgotten until it overflows like a river of tissues, cotton swabs, and toilet paper tolls. The counter is a mess of makeup and hair products. My bathroom has been subjected to terrible bouts of nausea caused by stomach bugs, bad food, and too much beer. Before I would actually attempt to relax in my bathroom, I would need to clean it. Not just a regular “wipe it down with a Clorox wipe and spray some Febreze” kind of clean. I’m talking about “Holy cow! Company is coming and they’re bringing my mother-in-law” kinda of clean.

I just don’t understand the attraction of just lying in a bathtub. Maybe I haven’t had the right bathtub to do this in. I’ve seen some very nice looking bathtubs. They look like they would cover everything that needed to be covered and still have a place for you to put your head. My bathroom was never made for something like that. My bathroom is the equivalent of an indoor outhouse.

Plus with only one bathroom in the house, how do you think it’s going to be relaxing for me? I saw an info graphicn on Facebook the other day that said you burn as many calories in a thirty minute as you do with a thirty minute bath. The only way I could see that that makes sense is if the person in the bathtub is a mother of two teenage girls and a five year old boy and only one working bathroom.

You hear stories of how moms can never go to the bathroom alone. Even if I lock the door my son is shoving things under the door through the gap between the floor and the door. Dinosaurs and army men, granola bars and gummy snacks. I don’t know if he thinks I’m going to get bored or hungry in there. He may think I’m locked in there and can’t get out. He’s trying to provide me entertainment and sustenance. Whatever it is, I don’t get it. They don’t want to look at me any other time of the day and then all of a sudden they either all need to use the bathroom at the same time or they want my attention right then, right there. I have actually had one child slide her permission slip for a field trip under the door to have me sign. I said, “I don’t exactly have a pen in here.” Thirty seconds later, a pen shows up under the door. Are you kidding me? I really think they take bets as to how far they can push it and how crazy they can make me.

I’m also trying to figure out at what point I’m supposed to be able to take this relaxing shower or bath. I can’t do it in the mornings. Mornings are coffee and writing time. I go to work. I come home. I eat dinner. I edit the day’s writing. I get a five minute shower. That’s no exaggeration. My showers can be anywhere between five and ten minutes depending if I have to wash my hair or not. There’s nothing relaxing about that. And then I go to bed. Where is this extra relaxation time supposed to show up. Is it on the weekends? It’s on the weekends, isn’t it? I guess I missed that memo.

Same as the memo that says moms are supposed to enjoy baths. Don’t get me wrong. I like ninety five percent of the things that go on with self care and grooming wise. I really enjoy feel good, smell good things. I like lotion, especially if it has shimmer or glitter in it. God, I love glitter. I have never grown out of that phase. I’m a magical, mystical unicorn and I will shine and shimmer my way through life. I enjoy makeup but most of the time, I wind up looking like a drag queen gone wrong. I really like the smell good, feel good things. I can’t walk past a Bath & Body Works. I’m an addict. I need to stay on the wagon. And hope I get supplied for my birthday and the holidays.

I am fascinated by bath bombs. Those things are so cool. They’re so pretty. And have you seen the things they put in them? Rings, charms, money. I really like them. Just not enough to get a in the bathtub, though.

I just don’t have that kind of time. Like I said, with my showers, I’m in, I’m out, I’m done. The most amount of styling I do to my hair out of the shower is a couple of French braids while my hair is wet and then I go to bed. Boom! Wavy, curly hair in the morning. I’m currently sitting on my couch right now looking like Post Malone. God bless my husband for dealing with what I look like when I go to bed and when I wake up. At least I smell good.

I did take longer showers when I was pregnant. And by longer showers I mean fifteen minutes. When I was pregnant, I had to try to get my muscles to loosen up. My son was a mover and a shaker and made life difficult when he would shift around in his cushioned apartment.

I guess maybe part of my issue on this self care kind of thing is that growing up water was money was money. Heat was money. Hot water was money literally pouring down the drain. So, there were restrictions put on how long you could be in the shower. I grew up in the house that only had the one bathroom for me, mom, and dad. If you were in the shower for longer than ten minutes – fifteen at the most – then you were using up someone else’s time. You were using up more than you needed to. You were being selfish; you were being greedy. You weren’t thinking of others. And you were costing money. You were flushing paychecks. My ex was like that for everyone but himself. here were time frames for how long you could be in the bathtub, around fifteen minutes was his limit. That’s how long my daughter and I both had to or take a shower, brush our teeth, or do whatever we needed to do in the bathroom. He was different. He would take an hour-long bath, which if he fell asleep – and he always did – in the bathtub, would wind up being a three hour long bath. Then he would need an hour-long shower to warm up from his nap in the bath. I honestly cannot remember how many times I had to tell someone that we were late showing up because he had to take a bath and then a shower. It kind of makes sense to me that I don’t enjoy baths the way I’m supposed to.

I see these posts of moms lying in a tub filled with bubbles. Candles burning. And Mom is drinking a glass of of wine. My thoughts are, “Who’s watching the kids? How long is it going to be before someone starts banging on her door?”

It probably wouldn’t do me too much harm to spend a  little extra time in the shower. But it’s winter right now. I don’t have to shave. Nobody’s looking at my legs. My husband is so hairy on his legs, he can’t figure out what’s mine and what’s his.

I know a lot of people say they get really good ideas in the shower. I need one of those waterproof notepad things that you can put up in the shower. That way I can write them down and remember them. I think I would have to be in there longer than five or ten minutes to have one of these epiphanies of brilliance.

So, tonight I will talk to my family about giving me half an hour in the shower. Thirty minutes. That’s all I need. I will stand in the shower and I will let the water rain over me. I will let it hit my head and I will hope for something of brilliance to occur. If I have to I will use my son’s bath time crayons to write down my ideas on the shower wall. And they say those things are washable but they’re really not. I’ve had that stuff on my shower wall for two months now. I have scrubbed. I have used my spin brush cleaner. I have bleached. I have done everything short of sand paper. That stuff is permanently on my bathroom wall now. I’m a little concerned. What’s up with this, Crayola?

I will take time in the shower to reflect upon my day to see what worked, what didn’t, what could I do at work better, and what I could do  to be better. I will take that time to breathe and wash away my worries. I will watch them drain down the in a swirling whirlpool. While I’m in the shower I will remember that this body needs to be cared for. And maybe a couple minutes more of self care would help me be a better mom, a better wife, a better writer, and a better person all over.

Today I will not take a bath. I will not have sparkly, glittery bath bombs. Which if you want to see a train wreck of a conversation you should really go on to any social media posts about glittery bath bombs. Read the comments. You’ll have people who are environmentalists going off about how bad glitter is for the environment. You’ll have people talking about glitter in personal, private areas. Oh my gosh, the level of sanctimommy that is in those posts is amusing at best. Do yourself a favor; go read one of those posts.

I will have my smell good, make your skin feel good shower gel. i will probably have some video or podcast playing on my stereo because shower time is learning time as well. And I will take this time to remind myself of who I am. Yes, I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a writer. But I’m also a train wreck. And I’m not just any train wreck. I am the glorious train wreck mom. And some days I need to remind myself what makes me that.

So, today I will take a relaxing shower.


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